|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defencewhich companies at the Defence Systems and Equipment International 2005 exhibition exhibited (a) stun guns, (b) leg irons and (c) stun batons; and if he will make a statement. 
The DTI's role is limited to the issue of export licences where these are required, e.g. for the re-export of goods on display after the exhibition, or the promotion of trade in controlled or restricted goods between third countries. On that basis, we are not aware of the display of any of the goods specified.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether an employment impact assessment has been made in relation to the Defence Training Review as it relates to Cosford and St. Athan. 
Mr. Touhig: The Defence Training Review Programme is currently evaluating the bidding consortia's proposals. This includes reviewing the possible implications for employment in any of the regions in the United Kingdom affected by the DTR Programme. Such an assessment, however, cannot be concluded until the evaluation process is complete and this is not expected before spring 2006.
Mr. Touhig: The Defence Training Review is currently evaluating the bidding consortia's proposals. Until this phase is complete and a decision has been taken to select a preferred training partner, I am not in a position to make any detailed comment on the wider impact of the DTR solution.
The Ministry of Defence placed research work worth around £524 million in 200304, the last year for which figures are available. Most research projects generate classified data and are not published in the open literature but form the basis of decisions on policy, planning and future equipment procurement. Areas of general academic interest, where appropriate, are published in relevant journals.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of each Civil Service grade in his Department is located in each (a) region and (b) nation of the UK; what the average salary is for each grade; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Touhig: My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Cabinet Office will write to the hon. Member with details for the civil service of the percentage of staff in post by region and grade responsibility and the median salary of staff in post by region and grade responsibility as at 1 April 2004. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence is supportive of all staff with mental ill health. The support provided varies dependent upon whether the individual is a member of the armed forces or a civil servant.
The Department has over the last three years operated a stress policy laid down in Joint Service Publication 375. This publication can be found on the internet, (www.mod.uk/dsc/ohs/jsp375.htm). This policy is supplemented by procedures that were designed to assist with mental ill health and stress reduction when identified in an individual. The Department also has policies to support individuals with alcohol and drug dependencies.
The MOD has particular responsibility for the mental health of members of the armed forces (including reservists on deployment) and specific measures are in place to prevent and treat stress-related disorders among service personnel, as well as civilians deployed in support of operations. These include pre and post-deployment briefings and access to trained mental health staff both during and after deployments.
Service personnel, both regular and reservist, returning from operational deployment are offered a 23 day period of 'normalisation' during which they receive a post-deployment briefing pack. This includes two leaflets and a presentation, covering post-traumatic stress reactions and the problems that may be encountered on returning home to families. Returning personnel also receive guidance on whom to consult if they experience post deployment problems, including their commanders, padres, social workers and health care staff.
Out-patient mental health treatment for the armed forces takes place at 13 MOD Departments of community mental health located throughout the UK and three satellite centres in Cyprus, Germany and Gibraltar. In-patient treatment, when required, has been provided by The Priory Group since April 2004.
For civilian staff, medical advice on the specific condition must be a personal responsibility available through the individual's GP and the NHS. The Department provides occupational health (OH) advice and support through its OH advisers, Capita Health Solutions. In addition the Department provides:
Veterans can seek assistance through the Veterans Agency's helpline on 0800 169 2277, and the War Pensioners Welfare Service provides advice and guidance to those veterans who are applying for or who have been awarded a war pension or gratuity. We also paid around £2 million to the Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress) in the last financial year in order to fund remedial treatment for war pensioners.
Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to his Department which have been passed to the FOI clearing house for evaluation, broken down by (a) subject and (b) date of request. 
Mr. Touhig: Information about the handling of Freedom of Information requests is published in Freedom of Information Statistics on Implementation in Central Government". The most recently published report was 30 September 2005, copies were placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Additional information about the role of the Clearing House can be found on the DCA website at http://www.foi.gov.uk/guidance/index.htm#2. Departments do not release information about the internal handling of requests, such as details of which requests were referred to the Clearing House for guidance.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what timetable has been drawn up for each stage of the review of recordkeeping on sexual harassment in the armed forces in order to ensure completion by the end of the year; if he will make a statement when he publishes the Defence Information Notice and policy letter to the armed forces; and if he will place a copy of these documents in the Library; 
(2) what conclusion he has reached on the scope for setting a revised target for the completion of all formal harassment investigations within a period of less than 69 days; on what date he issued a Ministry of Defence policy letter on this issue; and if he will place a copy of the letter in the Library; 
(3) what date he issued a Ministry of Defence policy letter on arrangements for confidential follow-up checkswith individuals making complaints of sexual harassment in the armed forces; and if he will place a copy of the letter in the Library. 
The review of record keeping was completed ahead of schedule and a Defence Information Notice (2005DIN02244: Armed Forces Unit Equality and Diversity Log) was published on 1 December 2005. This document details a tri-service standard for: the recording of incidents and complaints of bullying and harassment; the turnaround time for commanding officers to investigate and consider complaints at unit level (30 days); and arrangements for follow-up checks to be completed four weeks after the conclusion of a complaint. I will place a copy of theDefence Information Notice in the Library of the House.
9 Jan 2006 : Column 220W
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the terms of reference are for the review of formal complaints and other data on sexual harassment in the armed forces; and how many organisations and individuals have been invited to tender for contracts to conduct the review. 
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the terms of reference are for the sexual harassment survey of women and men serving in the armed forces; and how many organisations and individuals have been invited to tender for contracts to conduct the survey; 
(2) what the terms of reference are for the focus groups of women and men serving in the armed forces to consider issues relating to sexual harassment; and how many organisations and individuals have been invited to tender for contracts to undertake this work. 
Mr. Touhig: I will place a copy of the terms of reference for the sexual harassment survey and focus groups in the Library of the House. Three organisations were invited to tender for the contract to conduct the survey and focus groups.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the result was of the review of options for increasing awareness of sexual harassment issues conducted by the Armed Forces Diversity and Equality Steering Group; and how many meetings of the steering group have been held since June 2005. 
Mr. Touhig: Options from the review are still under consideration and I will write to my hon. Friend further about this in due course. The Armed Forces Diversity and Equality Steering Group have held two meetings since June 2005.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what timetable has been agreed for (a) publication of advertisements for, (b) interviewing candidates for and (c) appointing an external reviewer to conduct quarterly assessments of the Department's handling of sexual harassment complaints. 
Mr. Touhig: It is intended that an independent reviewer will be appointed to conduct regular non-statutory reviews of the complaints process focusing on the effectiveness, timeliness, and fairness of the system, and providing recommendations for improvements where necessary. A sample of cases will be analysed.
The appointment of the external reviewer is part of a package of improvements to the complaints process, including the introduction of an independent element, linked to the Armed Forces Bill. The timetable for the appointment of the external reviewer will therefore be dictated by the progress of the Bill.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many meetings of principal personnel officers have been held since June 2005; and on how many occasions the officers have discussed the operation of sexual harassment helplines. 
Mr. Touhig: The Principal Personnel Officers have met under the auspices of the Service Personnel Board on three occasions since June 2005. They have not discussed the operation of sexual harassment helplines
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in establishing dedicated investigation teams on sexual harassment in each of the armed services; and how many individuals of each rank comprise these units. 
Mr. Touhig: All three Services have established dedicated Equal Opportunities Investigation Teams that may be tasked with investigating complex and serious complaints of harassment and bullying. The Royal Navy team consists of one Warrant Officer 1st Class, and one Master at Arms. The Army team is commanded by a C2 Grade Military Support Function (MSF) member of the civil service. He is supported by two Warrant Officers and three Senior Non-Commissioned Officers also employed as investigators. The team has two civil service support staff: one El typist and one E2 Administrative Officer. The Royal Air Force team consists of one Flight Lieutenant, one Warrant Officer, one Sergeant and one Civilian E2 admin support assistant.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|